Newsletter #1116

Some good news on the City front tonight in the signing of contracts by Dunne and Onuoha. We also have views on the Blackburn performance, transfers and call-ups.

Match reports on the reserves this week, a great 5-0 game against Liverpool on Tuesday night and a very poor display in a 3-1 defeat at the Rags tonight.

The debates on the run-in, badge and strikers continue with some more good pieces and finally the usual requests.

Next game: Portsmouth, home, 3pm Saturday 30 April 2005


General News

Shaun in the USA? On Sunday Shaun Wright-Phillips was named in the Professional Footballers’ Association Premiership Team of the Year. He was named in the midfield of the team picked by his fellow professionals alongside Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben. And SWP was runner-up to Wayne Rooney in the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. Not bad for someone who has missed a big chunk of the season, eh readers? SP meanwhile has been expressing a hope that Shaun gets a chance to rest up this summer, and not be selected for England’s two game tour of the USA. Sven’s men face Colombia and the host nation at the end of May, but Psycho hopes that the boy gets a rest. “I would never stop players going away but if the England manager rang me and asked me if I wanted him to go away to the USA I would say no I don’t. I would say give the boy a rest. Let him rest his limbs,” he said.

I Can See it in Your Eyes: Stuart Pearce still continues to give good quotes, despite the constant speculation over the caretaker manager’s future. Here’s Psycho on the delicate negotiations regarding his prospects: “I had a chat with the chairman on Friday and he said ‘this is probably the longest job interview you will ever have’. I said ‘I hope so because I will be dead soon’. He just said ‘keep going’ and that I was doing okay and he would make a decision in the summer. But I feel I couldn’t do any more even if they gave me a 10-year contract tomorrow.” Which would be nice, because, err, he hasn’t got a contract with City at the moment! “The chairman will have to make me a contract offer if he wants me to stay full-time because at the moment I don’t have one, either as a coach or a manager,” he admitted. “There is no hardship waiting until the board are definitely sure I am the right man for the job,” he said. “If I was in their position I would have a good look to see what I can do over a period of time, which is probably until the summer. It doesn’t alter the work I am doing because I am looking at this as a full-time appointment anyway. But what it might affect is players’ decisions about whether to sign for us or not, including those who are renegotiating contracts here.” It does no harm to pay tribute to the chairman, either: “I am more than happy to work for a gentleman – whether it is long or short-term – who is honest and I see that trait in John Wardle. The chairman is trying to make the best decision for Manchester City and I fully respect that. If we stay undefeated, I will have half a chance.” Pearce was asked whether the players backed his bid to be manager. “The players are not inclined to come up and put their arms around managers and say that they would love you to be the manager,” explained Stuart Pearce. “On the odd occasion you can see it in the eyes of the young players that you bring on. Lee Croft for instance thinks that this manager is sticking by me, I hope he stays. Players want to get the best they can for themselves and so they should and hopefully win games for Manchester City.” And as the M.E.N. pointed out this week – should City avoid defeat versus Pompey on Saturday, it will equal the best ever unbeaten run in the Premiership. In 1993-94, Brian Horton’s team went six games unbeaten. Not a bad target for a manger trying to impress the Board!

Reserves Run Riot: I say, now that’s the way to bounce back from a poor result! The Reserves soon forgot about the previous week’s poor show at Nottingham Forest and beat a young Liverpool team 5-0. City’s strikers Jon Macken and BWP scored a brace apiece, and substitute Marc Laird completed the scoring with his first league goal of the season. Team: Manchester City: Schmeichel, Warrender, Collins (Lee-Matthews 71), J D’Laryea (Miller 71), Richards, Sommeil, Croft, Flood, Macken, B Wright-Phillips, Ireland (Laird 46). Subs: Matthewson, Bermingham. There was also a goal-tastic performance by the under-18’s this week, who won 7-1 at Derby County. Danny Sturridge, Ashley Grimes and Kelvin Etuhu scored two goals each, while Clayton MacDonald weighed in with the seventh.

Transfer News and Gossip

Four or Five Needed: SP has revealed that wherever he finds himself next season, he is still aiming to strengthen City’s squad in the summer. “I am planning for the future,” he says. “The Chairman is acutely aware that I am watching players, travelling abroad to watch players. My scout, Graham Carr is doing a great job for me watching players. We are looking to bring players in and keep evolving this club. If another manager is brought in everything has to be in place for him. I believe we are stepping in the direction that it will be.” And the Boss knows how many additions the squad needs. “I would say we need four or five added to the squad. Any Premiership football club is permanently looking to evolve and get better. Having certain people under threat for their positions, that is a healthy thing for a football club. It makes people hungry. I will go back to my Brian Clough days. He was at the training ground all the time. The days he wasn’t there it used to go through my mind whether he was looking for a left back. He made it quite clear your place was never safe, no matter who you are. The players at this football club have responded to that as well.” Psycho has no illusions regarding the size of his transfer kitty. “I don’t think there will be a great deal of money available to the next manager of this club whether it be me or the next man,” he admitted. “That is the situation. I was aware of the financial situation here before I was given the job because I made it my business to check. The board have been open with me. As I stand here at the moment, I am looking everywhere for players. If you ask me whether I would prefer to pay £5 million for one or get him for nothing, I know what the answer would be.”

Half-Marathon Man: Danny Mills is reportedly a target for Blackburn Rovers. Mills has been on the bench since Stuart Pearce took over six games ago, with the Blues’ boss preferring Nedum Onuoha at right-back. But Danny Boy is having none of it, telling the Daily Mirror: “I’ve not had a single thought about moving this summer. I’m working overtime to ensure I regain my place. I’ve been staying behind after training every day and my aim is to make it difficult for the manager to leave me out.” He’s so keen to impress the new gaffer that he’s entering a half-marathon. Interesting…

Raf Passage to City: Icelandic youngster Palmi Rafn Palmason has arrived for a one week trial with City this week. The 20-year-old playmaker is currently playing in the Icelandic top flight with KA Akureyri. Palmason has previously had trials with Arsenal and Stoke City and is regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in Iceland. He played 16 of KA’s 18 games last season and bagged two goals, but he could not prevent them from being relegated. KA coach Toddy Orlygsson, a former team-mate of Pearce at Nottingham Forest, is believed to have organised the deal, which saw Palmason arrive in England last Sunday.

Scouse Sweep: As the end of the season hoves into view, and a new transfer window creaks open, there’s quite a lot of transfer speculation this week. You could almost predict that little Shaun would be mentioned in dispatches. And so the Times reported this week that a new suitor for the hand (and feet) of our precious winger was on the scene. Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is lining up a bid for SWP, if Steven Gerrard goes to Chelsea at the end of this season. The Times thought that Arsenal were still favourites to land Wright-Phillips, however. Elsewhere, Feyenoord are rumoured to be on the lookout for a defensive midfielder, so Paul Bosvelt has been linked with a return to his former club. The BBC Sport website reported that City have made a move for Dundee United’s Scotland Under-21 cap, Mark Wilson. But United manager Gordon Chisholm insisted that no firm offer had yet been tabled by City. “It’s just speculation,” he said. “He has been outstanding for the last two seasons, but he is part of the future of Dundee United.” I received a panic stricken text from my brother on Monday evening asking for reassurance that the headline in his local paper was to be ignored. Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle claimed that SP was interested in signing Laurent Robert, and that Sylvain Distin would move in the other direction. Lucky for us, the “news” hasn’t been reported anywhere else, so one would like to assume that the reporter at the Chronicle had used that well known source “wishful thinking”. Let’s hope so anyway…

Ex-Blues’ News

Elliott Scores for City: At least City can afford to pay Steve McManaman next month. “Sliver chipped from City’s debt mountain” was the headline in the North East press this week, as it was revealed that City had earned £120,000 following Sunderland’s promotion to the Premiership on Saturday. The cash is linked to Stephen Elliott’s move to the Wearside club last summer for an initial fee of £125,000. Elliott, 21, made his 40th appearance in the 2-1 win over Leicester, which confirmed Sunderland’s promotion. And that triggered the fourth of five appearance-based payouts of £20,000, with another £100,000 due to City after Sunderland won their Premiership place. If Elliott plays in a competitive game for the Republic of Ireland, City will get a further £50,000.

Reactions and Comments

Firing Blanks: City extended their unbeaten run to five games with a drab draw against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. Chances were few and far between for both teams in a game ruined by the blustery conditions, with Blackburn’s best early effort a 25-yard strike from Jonathan Stead that flew narrowly wide. City had loud appeals for two penalties turned down – first when Shaun Wright-Phillips was chopped down from behind by Dominic Matteo, and second when Antoine Sibierski looked to have had his shirt pulled as he fell to the floor. David James kept out another late Stead effort but had little else to do. SP was pleased with his side’s commitment. “I was delighted with them, and I told them that this was more pleasing than the one or two victories we have had at home,” Pearce said. “Blackburn are a difficult side to play against, they were playing at home, had 10 men behind the ball and were difficult to break down. We could have had two penalties, but I am not going to criticise the referees, it is very tough for them out there. He has given honest decisions and that’s fair enough. We’ll get the decisions our way the next time. It was one of those games where it was a scrap. Sometimes you have to do that in the Premiership. Both sides cancelled themselves out – they had one lone striker with 10 players behind the ball. It wasn’t pretty at times but we have come away from home and kept a clean sheet so I am happy with that.” You might get a flavour of the game by the comments of Mark Hughes, the Blackburn manager. “It was a bit of a struggle for both teams,” he said. “The conditions did not lend themselves to flowing football. We never looked in any danger of losing. We felt we had the better of the chances and play but couldn’t get the breakthrough we deserved. City were well organised. They kept their shape and got men behind the ball and made things difficult for us.”

Back to Basics: Joey Barton found himself matched up against one of football’s (shall we say) controversial characters, Robbie Savage. Sounds like JB enjoyed himself – he said: “It’s always difficult against a player like Savage, because it’s well publicised what he’s all about. He’s good at what he does and makes a good living. Going against him is about saying, ‘I’m here today and I’m not going to be rolled over’. If he wants the ball and wants to mix it up a bit, then I’m prepared to stand up to him. It’s a man’s game.” Barton’s most fervent argument was for the appointment of Pearce. He said: “Under him we’ve sort of gone back to basics. We’ve made ourselves hard to beat, said that if we didn’t concede goals we were sure to get better.”

Squad News

Ned’s New Contract: Sky Sports have announced today that Nedum Onuoha has agreed a new three-year contract with City. The 18-year-old has broken into the first team under caretaker boss Stuart Pearce and is currently keeping Danny Mills out of the side. The player’s agent Peter Harrison confirmed: “We have agreed terms on a three-year contract until 2008,” Harrison told “He is pleased that it is done and can now concentrate on playing.” “The player himself added: “The manager and the fact he was one of the best full backs of his generation has helped me out a lot. He has worked on the specifics of playing in that position, which is a lot different to being in the middle. He is very good at man management, especially teaching youngsters and that bodes well for the club. I feel as though I am doing okay but the main thing is not to get at all complacent. I am still learning the position and you only have to look at the bench and see the quality international defenders sitting there to know that you cannot afford a dip in form or things will change very quickly. With that competition for places there is no time to rest on laurels or reflect on what I have or haven’t achieved this season.”

No Shirkers: Stuart Pearce has today reiterated Nedum’s mention of competition for places. The M.E.N. pointed out that there was some experience left out of the team at Blackburn last Saturday, with Danny Mills and Ben Thatcher sat on the bench, while Paul Bosvelt wasn’t in the squad. “We have a few senior players not in the team at the moment and it is tough for them, I understand that,” said the manager. “It is important to me that they stay and fight, because I have not shut the door on any one player since I have been in charge. The way back to the team is totally open to them. Danny for instance has a lengthy contract at the club, and I see him as part of it. I think he is a good player, but Nedum Onuoha has got in and held his place on merit. I have explained to all of those not in the team that they have to scrap for their places, and that is a healthy situation for Manchester City. Everyone is fully aware that if their performances begin to fall, I have got top-class players to bring in their place. Players have to train near enough 90 per cent of the way they play,” he said. “They cannot expect that if they are left out and their training standards drop, that the manager will think `oh, I’d better put them back in’. It works exactly the other way with me. If I see people say `right I will show you’, that kind of attitude is more likely to twist my arm. I have got a situation where everyone is putting it all in on the training ground, and I am quite happy with what I am getting from those in the team and those outside it. We have not got a problem in that direction. They have been told from the day I took over that the standard of training has got to be better than it was before, and they have delivered.”

Don Barrie <news(at)>


I will be taking a short break, and Mads Hawkins has very kindly agreed to step in as Guest Editor for issues 1117 to 1120 inclusive (2 – 12 May). Please keep your views, news and opinions coming to the usual address at <editor(at)>.

Many thanks.



City hosted Liverpool in their re-arranged fixture at MiniCoMS, a game that the elements tried to delay yet again as Manchester was subjected to some pretty awful rain. Both teams lined up with a mixture of first team/fringe players and youth.

City started well, and within a couple of minutes were awarded a corner after D’Laryea’s cross from the left of the area hit a Liverpool arm. We did argue penalty, but the corner was well taken by Croft. Then came a fair bit of passing play, from each side, until on 23 minutes Macken scored from the edge of the area as he lobbed the ‘keeper (the goal took a slight deflection off Croft, but we’ll allow Macken). 1-0.

Soon after we were back in another neat attacking move as Macken passed to BWP and onto Croft but were thwarted. Then again as Ireland chipped the ball to BWP who kicked it straight into the back of the net: 2-0. Macken then got his second and City’s third as he ran through unmarked on goal to slot home bottom left corner. 3-0.

I don’t think Liverpool mounted an attack in the first half, so off to dry out and get a cup of coffee.

Ireland was replaced by Mark Laird as the teams came back out. Within a few minutes, Croft and BWP were again attacking and a Croft cross was neatly headed in by BWP to make it 4-0. Laird then followed up with it 5-0. Didn’t see his goal as we were distracted by an ex-England player asking questions about some of our players. Collins and JDL were subbed by Matthews and Miller.

The City defence were then called into action as Schmeichel saved from a Liverpool header. We were then distracted by the resident ducks flying in and making use of the flooded long jump.

Macken then tried to make it 6 as he made a “defence splitting pass”, which the ‘keeper got to. In the dying minutes Liverpool were back on the attack and were awarded a corner, had a 25 yard shot deflected and another headed over.

All in all a good performance from City, such a shame about last week’s result, which we are still seething about. Next up is of course the last game of the season against the Rags at OT.

MotM: Lee “Figo” Croft

City: Schmeichel, Warrender, Collins (Matthews), J D’Laryea (Miller), Richards, Sommeil, Croft, Flood, Macken, BWP, Ireland (Laird).

Liverpool: Harrison, Raven, Otsemobor, O’Donnell, Whitbread, Mannix, Partridge, Welsh, Platt, Potter, Wilkie.

Heidi <editor(at)>


City’s final match of the reserve league took place at Old Trafford. We fielded a changed line-up from the regular team, having drafted in some of the younger players.

The game was dire from City’s perspective. Very poor passing, a midfield that was without direction, and we should have known we were in for a difficult night when the ex-City announcer couldn’t even get half our players’ names right.

Within the first few minutes the City defence was put under threat, as Collins shielded out an attack by the Rags’ No 7, who soon after had a shot saved by Weaver. Richards was also providing a valuable presence in his new defensive rôle. The game was niggly, as to be expected when visiting Taggart’s Playground, and tackles were flying in, which the referee ignored. Until the slight Flood brought down a Rag and was booked. A foul on Miller a couple of minutes later went un-punished. We were finding it hard to mount a decent attack given the paucity of our passing, but Miller did manage what should have been an easy shot on goal, which went just wide.

Bellion then had a shot blocked by Weaver, and the ref kindly added two minutes of Taggart time, which ensured they could continue their attack and had a shot mis-cleared by City straight across the goal, which Weaver thought had cleared, only for the hapless Frenchman to hit it home from the right side. Taggart time had served its purpose and so into the break at 1-0 down.

We then made a substitution that perplexed us, D’Laryea on for Richards (personally would have taken Laird off, but hey we’re just watching). The Rags were then awarded a penalty due to a foul by D’Laryea, and scored. 2-0 down.

Negouai was then replaced by Etuhu, and our attacking began again. We were awarded a corner, taken by Flood, which resulted in a game of head tennis, Carroll blatantly fouled one of the City players but of course the officials ignored this, and the ball was then headed down by Miller.

Bermingham, goal hero of the recent derby in the Senior Cup, was then replaced by Grimes. The Rags then scored another but quite frankly I was fed up of watching the poor performance by this time.

City got a goal back in the final 2 minutes of normal time as Miller finally found the net. 3-1 to them. We then left as the trophy was being presented, although half the Rag crowd seemed to have forgotten about this and left too.

Can’t help wondering just why the changes were made tonight. OK, so we were not in contention for the title and, had this been the final crunch game I am sure we would have seen Croft, BWP, Ireland, and Sommeil out but to play younger players so obviously out of position is a very strange move indeed.

Finally, a word of praise for the stewards, most welcoming and pleasant.

MotM: Weaver, we’d have been down 6 goals had he not made some of those saves.

City: Weaver, Matthews, Warrender, Negouai (Etuhu), Richards (D’Laryea), Collins, Flood, Bennett, Bermingham (Grimes), Miller, Laird.

United: Carroll, Picken, Ngalula, Pique, Bardsley, Miller, Heath, Jones, Bellion, Rossi, Martin.

Heidi <editor(at)>


Perhaps someone can clear this up for me if the following hypothesis comes to fruition at season’s end.

  1. Everton finish 4th. in the Prem. Liverpool finish 5th but win theChampions’ League in Istanbul.
  2. Bolton finish 6th. and, surprisingly, City end up 7th. with 54 points(I know, I know! OK. Boro end up 7th.)

As I understand it, only (the top) 4 teams can qualify for next season’s Champions League. Would Everton qualify and the holders (Liverpool) be barred from defending their trophy? If so, who would be the UEFA Cup qualifiers? On the other hand, if Liverpool are allowed to defend the Cup, I assume Everton would be ‘relegated’ to the UEFA competition (riots in Toxteth?)

Either way, given Liverpool’s current (26 April) position of 5th, I assume a final 7th place is good enough for the UEFA competition next year. However, if Liverpool finished 8th but won in Istanbul, and were allowed to defend their championship next year, I assume the final UEFA place would be for the team that finished 6th.

Am I right or should I change the brand of glue I use to clear up my sinus problems?

CTID, Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts <dafydd.Roberts(at)>


What an exciting end to the season, who could have thought it? Europe still beckons with seventh place in the league now the European spot. Spurs getting beat by Arsenal was a great result so as I write this we have from seventh down:

Middlesbrough, played 34, points 49 (in the box seat)
Spurs, played 35, points 48
Villa, played 35, points 47
City, played 35, points 45
Charlton, played 35, points 45

Only 3 games left for everyone except Middlesbrough, who are clear favourites. We need them to lose a few and it is checking the fixtures where it gets interesting.

Wed 27th April, Newcastle vs. Middlesbrough, local derby, Newcastle win
Sat 30th April, Liverpool vs. Middlesbrough, hard one, Liverpool win
If Boro lose those two away games then it is all on the boil.

City play Portsmouth at home on the same Saturday, must win. And look what is on the Sunday.

Spurs vs. Villa, two of the five at each other’s throats.
Charlton vs. United, United can do us a favour and put Charlton away though looking at how cr@p they have become who knows? Charlton dark horses.

Saturday, 7th
Chelsea vs. Charlton Chelsea to put Charlton away, though already having the league title by then who knows? And then look at this juicy one: Villa vs. City what a game that could be. Another must win. For all the Aussie Blues in Melbourne, that one has to be on Fox Sports so let’s have a huge get together down the Keepers for that one.

And look at the other game on the same night: Boro vs. Spurs; getting interesting.

Then the final Sunday of the season:
Charlton vs. Palace: Charlton gone by then
Spurs vs. Blackburn: Spurs gone by then
Liverpool vs. Villa: City put Villa away the week before

So the cruncher:
City vs. Boro at the City of Manchester stadium.

What a cracker that could turn out to be, and got to be anther on the box, another get together in Melbourne.

It is like a little mini five team tournament. Exciting stuff for the end of season run in.

[Admire your optimism Adrian! – Ed]

Adrian Bates <adrianb(at)>


Blimey Charlie, what a rant from Nick Durham about the badge! But I’m taking this up because I agree with him.

Unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember when City didn’t even have a badge on their shirts, let alone a sponsor!

The upside of this is that I lived through the Bell, Lee, Summerbee years when beating United was as simple as just taking to the field.

But my memories of all the glory years of the late sixties and early seventies were washed away by many years of mis-management by Peter Swales who ruined a great great club, setting it back a quarter of a century, whilst them across the road went on to grow bigger and bigger. Building a ground steeped in history, with four stands, none of which looked like any of the others. And appointing so many bad managers. It’s no consolation to me that the ‘Biggest Club in the World’ went 26 years without winning their domestic title. Look at their trophy cabinet now!

And it’s during these ‘depressing’ years that we wore that round badge and yes, I’m also now sick of the re-runs of the League, Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup and League Cup all in the space of 3 years. And the 5-1 now means nothing any more. The 3-1 and 4-1 of recent years are much sweeter. ‘Cause they are now.

So, Nick Durham, I’m with you. Let’s start writing history again by winning things now. Not re-living by-gone years. The ‘New’ badge, incidentally, has always been City’s badge. Before the round one, it was merely the blue shield that you see now without the eagles and the latin bit at the bottom.

I note, with interest, that referee Rob Stiles has telephoned Fulham to apologise for getting the penalty wrong that denied Fulham a win at Middlesbrough only to be met with a response from Fulham Manager, Chris Coleman, saying that he hopes that Rob Stiles realises that the decision could cost Fulham a million pounds due to positions in the Premiership. Coleman conveniently omits to mention the decision during the Fulham/City game when a Fulham player barged David James off the ball (you cannot challenge a ‘keeper when he is off the ground) leading up to the Fulham equaliser.

I also note with interest that contributors to this forum’s list of ‘Deadwood’ is growing shorter by the week. Reyna has now disappeared from most people’s list (quite rightly so too, in my opinion). I can’t believe the difference in the player from when he was last in the team. Let’s hope that continues.

Finally, Stuart Pearce. I’m glad that the board are taking their time to appoint. What’s the hurry? They have all this time to assess SP properly and can you imagine if they had confirmed his position two weeks ago and it had all gone sour. Performances on the field are only part of the job. The way he conducts things off it are equally important part. No, I agree with their stance but, I do feel that SP should get the job based on what I’ve seen since he took over. Being a City fan since 1964, and having read many books about City and their history, consistency is not a word used in City literature. I see in the current City side, a team of, what appeared to be five weeks ago, poor, uninspired individuals, lacking technical ability, taking the money and playing out their contracts. I now see much more ability in many of the players who I had previously deemed to be not good enough for City, now playing well, together, and … wait for it, consistently. There, I’ve used it twice now. The Blackburn game may have been a poor one but, look at the performance. Blackburn may have spoiled what we were trying to do but they couldn’t break us down, could they? On another day, bearing in mind the SWP penalty claim, we could have had three points and Blackburn would have had to open up. If the board are to appoint SP, and I hope they do, I think that by the last game of the season, they should have an idea, if they haven’t already. I would like to see Stuart Pearce confirmed as the new City Manager on the eve of the Middlesbrough game so that the supporters can show their feelings at the Middlesbrough game.

P.S. A Teaser. Can anyone remember a team turning up at Maine Road for a Cup tie in the early seventies without a change strip and the referee demanded that they change so they played in City’s red & black striped kit? Answer next time.

John Nisbet <nisbet1957(at)>


Well I see that this old chestnut has appeared again as a subject of debate, so as a Graphic Designer I thought I would bring a creative and personal perspective to this discussion.

Firstly a personal view!

Why in God’s name go backwards, what is the point? Has anything ever been gained by doing this? I cite the following example if we need no other…

We only have to look at the club’s history and in particular I’m referring to that idiotic disaster of a chairman Peter Swales and (later Francis Lee), but no Mr Swales who quite beyond all reasoning in the late 70’s brought back to the club Malcolm Allison to replace a successful manager at the time Tony Book. This lunatic decision set off a chain of events which so derailed the club over the next 25 years it is only now we have recently recovered from his ridiculous chairmanship!

I’m afraid when it comes to association the old badge has very negative connotation for me and no matter how much we try to look through rose tinted glasses what is the point?

Secondly a creative view!

A business, and the club is a business after all, has to move forward and by changing its Brand Identity, this is a perceived method and way these days of showing, how a business is moving forward and ultimately will help to show how successful it can be.

To be successful off the field is just as important and Brand Identity is very much a part of this!

It is interesting to note at this point that I have done a little research on the Rags’ club crest/badge and find that it has changed very little over the last 30 years. Yet we don’t hear anything about them changing or going backwards?

In answer to the point made by Andy Chard in MCIVTA 1114 regarding eagles in Manchester? I will bring to your attention the information which can be found on the following link:

By going to this page you will see that Manchester was founded as a Roman fort, which was located in Castlefield as a point of interest, however the main image used on all Roman standards was an eagle!

Now just clarify a design point when I work on any design project albeit Corporate or Packaging I look at the what’s called ‘A Heritage of the Brand’; this is all historical, in this case it is perfectly acceptable to incorporate this into the Brand or Crest.

I’m not sure if this was the intended reason originally but if I had designed this Logo then that is what I would have done. However I have to say I’m not sure about the stars, but I can again see why the designer chose to include them, this is a European influence.

Finally as to why the Red Rose was dropped I can again from my opinion see that this is more to do with the fact that Manchester is a City and although geographically located in the County of Lancashire, the club is based within the City boundary first and foremost and I know that this will upset all Lancastrians, but if we are going to be accurate here, why doesn’t the crest of LCCC reflect that it is in the borough of Trafford?

Now I realise that it will be said I’m standing up for my fellow designers (and there is nothing wrong with that) but if the club crest was cr@p then I would say it is cr@p. However, I must say it is perfectly fine and for God’s sake let’s move on and focus on more important matters.

As Nick Durham points out we have to keep in mind new generations both now and in the future and by the way I also have no connection with the design agency, designer or club.

Finally just to round up…

Speaking of crap design I just want to add a quick note about the choice of designs for the club’s kit, which has left a lot to be desired over the last 6 years and as for that bl**dy awful away shirt we have at the minute, I just don’t know, isn’t it about time the club got this right!

I see that at Blackburn we went back to the Red/Black stripe shirt, which for me should never have been replaced in the first place.

I offer up these thoughts/views as a 3rd generation Blue and professional designer to see what you guys out there in Cityland think.

Also before I go another point in response to the sarcasm/p**s take shown to a recent Why Blue article from the US (and I know the Americans can wear their hearts on their sleeves, I work with one). We all have our own ways of personal expression as to how we became one of the faithful and yes we do live in a democracy thank God, but hey has the individual in question got nothing better to do than poke fun at what was a heartfelt piece, I thought we were all on the same side.

Come on!

[Thanks Peter, and on your last point agreed, some people obviously need to find something more constructive to do with their time – Ed]

Peter – CTID in Oz <pgvw(at)>


Can anyone explain to me the debt structure and the workings thereof?

Muchly quoted is “the bridge’s” interest in SWP because of our reported debt. My understanding is that our debt is “structured” and manageable. Given that much is made financially of league position, euro qualification and bosmanning, how will the much touted short-term gain from the unloading of SWP for a shedload aid us in the long-term? Is there financial pressure extant such that the long-term goals cannot be brought to fruition?

Time was that the team that I groove on <Dad mode on> Corrigan, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, Coleman, <Dad off> took a little while to assemble, not very long for sure but imagine how poor we would have been without Alan Oakes, ’cause we flogged him to make way for Steve Daley?

Different eras but same job. Suppose what matters is whether we want the success that a first squad can bring given vision from the top or whether we accept that we will always be also-rans with a little bit of chest-bursting achievement now-and-again or whether we aspire to the elect?

Reaching for the sky in the form of success engenders risk and vision. Binning SWP classes us as a no future concern. He belongs here and I guess that Shaun himself knows that. At least give us another season and add another fast hit-man up front then reappraise. Bradley done alright too my son.

I am liking the shape and effort since KK went. We look like a footy team that works and shapes with the best. Maybe variation will come with SP experience. I can’t help but think that what we’ve seen so far is a touch formulaic, but then SWP’s been poorly and the formula adapted.

Get Some Psycho Get Some Psycho Get Some Psycho Get Some Psycho Get Some Psycho.

Our time has come and unless we reach out and grasp the moment, I will only have had a(nother) dream. Our children deserve parents and grandparents with memories that matter, that we have seen and lived and that stand alongside the history that we can all share. That which allows our children to embrace us as ancestors when we are long gone but remembered nonetheless.

I want to watch a team that makes me proud and I think I am beginning to see an egg of pride incubating.

Hatch the f!kser. Wear the shirt with pride. Please.

KTF CTID, Garry Higgins <balrog(at)>


I envied every club who Stuart Pearce played for before he joined us. We’ve obviously signed respected and proven players who went on to do really well for us, players who I knew little or nothing about at the time they signed, such as Ali B and the Goat. But only a few signings in my time as a Blue have been players I had already wished to see playing for us and then had to pinch myself as I realised I’d actually be seeing it happen.

There was when we nabbed Trevor Francis when I was 9 years old. And when we bought Berkovic. Utter delight both times. Pearce was one more of those. I worked at Euro 96 and was down the players’ tunnel when he scored that penalty against Spain, I swear I could hear his roar as he slotted that kick home despite the noise of 75,000+ England fans. His one season as our captain was undoubtedly my happiest as a City fan.

I don’t know why there’s any speculation at all about him getting the job. I’m sure even the board are scratching their heads as to who we’d get, if not Stuart Pearce, who would be welcomed by the fans if it were at Pearce’s expense? Luiz Felipe Scolari, maybe?

In an age where you see the antics of players at clubs like Newcastle, Pearce’s comments to the BBC last Saturday about crawling under floors and stacking boxes compared to being a football manager show humility – a flipside to his immense desire to win – that should set an example not just to our players but to all players: “I mean… behave!”

The board of directors may need to arrange extra-terrestrial travel options if they expect to escape the reaction of the fans if Stuart Pearce doesn’t become our manager on a permanent basis.

Drink a drink a drink to
Stu the Blue the Blue the Blue
He is the leader of our City
He’s the greatest Punk Rock full-back
That the wooooooorrrrrrrrrllllllllld…
Has ever seen!

Marc Starr <marc.starr(at)>


Next game versus Portsmouth, who should be the striker up front with Growler? We have tried Sibierski and Macken both, let’s just say with a negative feedback. Stuart Pearce does not have many options, and it’s not his fault.

Come next season, the priority is for a very good striker. There are two strikers having great games in the EPL but sadly for the team they play for, one of them will no longer be playing in the EPL next season, because his team will be relegated. Andy Johnson for Crystal Palace and Dean Ashton for Norwich City; which one will survive the EPL? The one who does not survive is the one I think that City should pursue to the fullest and give that player EPL football again; no guarantees that they would want to leave their present club, and more important can City afford him?

If City want to show ambition they have to go for a proven striker. Johnson has done that, no question; Dean Ashton is proving it with every game. Forget Earnshaw of WBA, and Crouch of Southampton, not good enough for City to advance. A striker who has scored more than 20 goals but in a lower league is Nathan Tyson; he might be good but has never played in the EPL as of yet. But whoever Stuart Pearce signs I will give my full support.

I presume Stuart Pearce will be City’s manager next season or something is really wrong. I will be looking for some “Blue Smoke” to appear above John Wardle’s office to indicate that Stuart Pearce has got the position of Manager/Coach of MCFC at the end of this season. Give Pearce a chance!

In the meantime, how about giving young Bradley a first start against Pompey?

Come on you Blues!

[Johnson only has his tally due to the number of penalties, Ashton we should have brought in a few seasons ago when we had the option, and as for Earnshaw and Crouch, no thanks! – Ed]

Ernie Barrow <britcityblue(at)>


This is a general thank you to all the faithful out there who very kindly responded to my request a few months ago, regarding information and trying to find a programme for City’s match Feb 12th 1966, a game that was sadly my grandfather’s last as he died just as he was leaving the game (I’m writing a series of articles, which includes this day).

I must thank in particular Rick Eagles, Kenneth Corfield and not forgetting Heidi for her initial information on the game that got things started, but in particular Rick for his help with copies of old programmes, which is greatly appreciated and has helped me form a better picture of that day.

Thank you again.

Peter <pgvw(at)>


In the past I have voiced my praises of Joe Royle and they have given cause to a few adverse comment to which I have not replied!

Congratulation to Joe on his youngsters’ recent victory and also the number of his virtually no-cost team gaining recognition in the Nationwide team selection and the present spot Ipswich hold.

Yes I am a solid Blue but acknowledge the loss of talent we gave away in not retaining Joe in at least a developer of talent from the lower divisions.

Peter Holland <safetea(at)>


Almost 300 people attended the CSA Gala Dinner at Sacha’s Hotel on Friday 8th April. We had set ourselves a target of raising £3,000 for two worthy causes associated with Manchester City Football Club. The night exceeded all our expectations and we actually realised a total profit of £4,500. We are now able to offer support to three causes associated with Manchester City Football Club which are:

  1. £2,250 MCFC YOUTH ACADEMY: which is helping to develop some of thefinest football talent in the country and provides professional training tohundreds of young people from across the city and further afield.
  2. £1,250 MCFC FORMER PLAYERS’ ASSOCIATION: this association is independentof the club but provides support from former Manchester City players at awide variety of functions throughout the year.
  3. £1,000 CITY IN THE COMMUNITY: this is a charitable organisationproviding support, education and development through football to thousandsof young people across Greater Manchester. City in the Community is headedby Alex Williams MBE.

The Centenary Supporters’ Association is indebted to everyone who attended, provided sponsorship, raffle prizes and items for the auction. Without your generosity we would never have raised so much money for these three worthy causes.

For some excellent pictures of the night please visit John Coxon’s website at and click on Stuart Pearce. Our special thanks go out to John for some excellent shots from the evening.

Alex Channon, CSA Chair

Howard Burr <reddishblues(at)>


Does anyone know if the Boro, Pompey and Villa games will be broadcast/shown in San Francisco area – any places where Blues convene to watch the games?

Many thanks, Rich Fenton <rich(at)>


NZ City Supporters’ Club will be holding a meeting on Wed 11 May, 7.30pm at Northcote Tavern, Northcote, Auckland. Any Blues in the area are welcome! Please contact me by phone 021-2568472 or email for any further information.

Many thanks, Mark Healey <MarkH(at)>


26 April 2005

West Bromwich Albion  1 - 1  Blackburn Rovers      25,154

25 April 2005

Arsenal               1 - 0  Tottenham Hotspur     38,147

24 April 2005

Portsmouth            4 - 1  Southampton           20,210
Manchester United     2 - 1  Newcastle United      67,845

League table to 26 April 2005 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         34 13  5  0 34  6 13  2  1 31  7 26  7  1  65  13  52  85
 2 Arsenal         34 11  5  1 44 18 11  3  3 30 15 22  8  4  74  33  41  74
 3 Manchester Utd  34 12  5  0 29  8  8  5  4 21 13 20 10  4  50  21  29  70
 4 Everton         34 11  2  5 22 15  6  5  5 19 19 17  7 10  41  34   7  58
 5 Liverpool       35 11  3  3 28 13  5  3 10 20 23 16  6 13  48  36  12  54
 6 Bolton Wndrs    35  8  5  4 22 14  7  4  7 23 25 15  9 11  45  39   6  54
 7 Middlesbrough   34  8  6  4 28 19  5  4  7 22 25 13 10 11  50  44   6  49
 8 Tottenham H.    35  8  4  5 31 21  5  5  8 11 18 13  9 13  42  39   3  48
 9 Aston Villa     35  8  6  4 25 15  4  5  8 17 28 12 11 12  42  43  -1  47
10 Manchester City 35  7  5  5 21 13  4  7  7 21 24 11 12 12  42  37   5  45
11 Charlton Ath.   35  8  3  6 27 23  4  6  8 13 28 12  9 14  40  51 -11  45
12 Blackburn R.    35  5  8  5 20 19  4  6  7 10 19  9 14 12  30  38  -8  41
13 Birmingham City 35  6  6  5 20 13  3  6  9 16 30  9 12 14  36  43  -7  39
14 Newcastle Utd   33  7  4  5 24 24  2  7  8 19 29  9 11 13  43  53 -10  38
15 Portsmouth      35  8  3  7 29 25  2  5 10 13 29 10  8 17  42  54 -12  38
16 Fulham          34  6  4  6 20 23  3  4 11 20 33  9  8 17  40  56 -16  35
17 Crystal Palace  35  6  4  8 19 17  1  5 11 18 41  7  9 19  37  58 -21  30
18 West Brom A.    35  4  8  5 15 22  1  7 10 18 36  5 15 15  33  58 -25  30
19 Norwich City    35  6  5  7 28 32  0  7 10 10 35  6 12 17  38  67 -29  30
20 Southampton     35  4  9  4 25 25  1  4 13 13 34  5 13 17  38  59 -21  28

With thanks to Football 365

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Newsletter #1116